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West Village

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  • Middle schools
  • Insideschools.org
320 West 21 Street. Grades 6--8.
What's special: Strong arts program
Downside: 5th floor walk up; basic facilities
Reading scores:5 stars
Math scores:5 stars
The Clinton School for Writers and Artists is a tiny middle school where children may put on their own musical theater production, study ballroom dancing, or create art projects with students from the School of Visual Arts. Some kids even travel to Sardinia on a 10-day exchange program to study art and Italian. Many Clinton graduates perhaps 20% to 25% are admitted to the highly selective LaGuardia High School of Music, Arts and Performing Arts. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
490 Hudson Street. Grades 6--8.
What's special: Emphasis on activism and community.
Downside: No library; labs are bare-bones.
Reading scores:5 stars
Math scores:5 stars
Greenwich Village Middle School is known as a small and nurturing community that emphasizes cooperation and social activism. The school is situated on the top floor of a 106-year-old building that was covered in scaffolding at the time of our visit while façade repairs were being made. An elementary school, PS 3, occupies the rest of the building. The small quarters of the middle school help create the intimacy and focus on the individual child that are hallmarks of the school, and Kelly McGuire, principal since fall 2006, is committed to maintaining these qualities along with the cooperative spirit of the faculty. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
33 West 17 Street. Grades 6--12.
What's special: Inspired teaching and imaginative projects keep kids interested.
Downside: Drab building; crowded classes.
Reading scores:4 stars
Math scores:5 stars
New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies is based on the notion that kids learn best in groups hence the name collaborative studies. This combined middle and high school is a pioneer in special education inclusion, and many of the classes include students who have special needs in general education classes. Lab is one of the most sought-after schools in the city, and its consistently high test scores and graduation rates attest to its success. It has an informal feel; teachers don't make a fuss about kids wearing hats, for example, and students are permitted to leave the building for lunch. There is pleasant give and take between the teachers and students. Most classes are taught in a seminar style, with lots of class discussion. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
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